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Old 12-12-2011, 10:07 PM   #1
nrok2118
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Default Help with Fire Management Lang 84

I just did a LONG write up and somehow closed it. So to get to the point, I tried the new smoker tonight and had trouble getting rid of smoke. It was dark out quick so Im not sure the color of smoke but I never got that nice invisible smoke. It was always a decent amount. Its def not a lack of air issue, door spent a lot of time open, open latch position, vents always 100% open. Fire would be burnt down, engulfed with flames, yet still smoking.

I want to say its my wood. We have some wood at the house for the indoor stove, and seem to have the same problems. First is some very well aged oak which I originally used trying to create my base fire. It just seemed like it didnt want to burn hot enough while inflamed, which seems weird for oak. I also tried some black walnut, which we chopped down ourselves from the back yard, been sitting since april, yet it was hissing and some wood even was "oozing" out the ends (like its still wet). Im looking around for a good score of decent wood, and hope a better source will yeild better results. Any tips, especially specific to the lang 84, are greatly appreciated. Ive done lots of research so I understand the basics, just gotta apply everything.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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Does sound like your wood source is a tad green.

Get one of those 10 lb. firewood bundles at the convenience store and try again.
Dry wood has no problem getting fully engulfed in flame.

How's the level of the smoker?

Here's a link to Ben Lang's own video:
http://langbbqsmokers.com/tips_caring_instructions.html
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Bandit View Post
Does sound like your wood source is a tad green.

Get one of those 10 lb. firewood bundles at the convenience store and try again.
Dry wood has no problem getting fully engulfed in flame.

How's the level of the smoker?

Here's a link to Ben Lang's own video:
http://langbbqsmokers.com/tips_caring_instructions.html
Ive watched that video, many times....I messed with the level up and down with no big differences
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:06 AM   #4
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try splitting the wood smaller -start out with kindling wood and use bigger pieces as the fire starts up - you will get to the best size as you work up, getting a clean burning fire- I have found my wood that was cut in early spring is also a "bit" wet this year also - the 30 extra inchs of rain we got this year hasn't helped with seasoning the wood. I store mine in a covered wood shed and it is still wetter than it should be.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:53 AM   #5
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Wood cut in April is only seasoned. Hardwood drys out at approximately 1" per year to normal air humidity. When using the oak did you run the fire hot for till the oak turned to coals? It seems that you need to get a good base of coals first, heat up the whole chamber and then add splits after you have the good base of oak coals. Also heating up your splits can help as well, just becareful they can get hot enough to start a fire on your cooker.

I do not have a nice Lang just a junkie offset.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:56 AM   #6
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We will ship you some wood from Texas. Talk about dry! The stuff will self ignite if you take it out of the shade! lol Try building a base of kingsford or some lump. Get it good and hot then add some smaller chunks of the oak.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:22 AM   #7
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nrok, when you figure this out you're going to love your Lang, I promise.

The fire, is it on a grate or on the floor of the box? You'll want it up a little to allow air underneath.

Was it only wood? I suggest doing a bit of a modified minion method, using charcoal and then once hot put only a split or two of wood on it. This may help especially if the wood isn't 100% as dry as possible.

Also, if you can put the split(s) on the fire warm, that'll help too. I have a warming box on mine and my wood stays up there (one above the bottom, because you CAN have a fire in the warming box; been there DONE THAT).

You'll see below on mine I do this all the time (modified minion method) where I line the box with 3 splits, then charcoal, put lit charcoal on top, and when it gets fully lit I'll put 1 split across the top.




Dont smother the fire either. Too much new/fresh wood or fuel (ala. charcoal) will choke the fire down and produce white smoke as well.

Mine is a very old 84 (called in an 1160 back in the day) and the fire grate was gone, so I built my own. I had this crazy idea of putting it up
just above the air intakes so that the air comes in under the coals. I rather like this now. I do get good clean HOT burns...
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Last edited by Lake Dogs; 12-13-2011 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:24 AM   #8
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I have a 60D, and had fire issues for the first 6 months I had the smoker, until I had a charcoal basket custom made to sit on top of the raised grate. It made all the difference in the world. I start with a bag of B&B and it perfectly fills up the basket. I hit it with the weed burner and let it get rolling, which warms up the pit. When I'm up to temp and ready to put food on, I start to add 2-3 logs at a time on top of the great base that has formed. But the basis for the good fire management with my Lang was 100% different with the charcoal basket. Hope this helps, and I know you are really going to enjoy that pit!!
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:13 AM   #9
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I had the same problem with my 60 until I added legs to my fire grate. My guess is that you have two problems. First is that your wood isn't dry enough and second is a lack of air.

I too use both lump and wood though my set up is a bid different than shown.

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Old 12-13-2011, 09:23 AM   #10
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Like all the guys have said, start with a small fire with lump and get things heated up. Then add your wood after you have a bed of coals. Like LD did it. The key to a good fire in a stickburner is to not wait till it burns down before adding more wood. Then its to late. Get a charcoal basket too. You've got alot of metal there to heat up. You will work, I mean play and have fun, at fire management in your Lang. Also split wood can hold moisture for a very long time. Hope this helps, good luck.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:35 AM   #11
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If you have a new Lang - then you have a fire grate on legs. (I make this assumption since my 2011 Lang has a fire grate on legs.) I think you already figured out the issue - it's with the wood. If it's hissing - it's definitely not ready for prime time. Even with seasoned wood, you have to be careful that the splits are not too big. It's hard to say what the "right" size is, but after that big boy heats up, you really don't need to add a ton of wood. Smaller pieces will do the trick.

I see from this thread that even among Lang owners - there is variation in technique. I use charcoal to start my fire (like "Lake Dogs"), but only about 1/4 of what he has in his photo. Then again, I use more wood. Sorry I don't have a pic.

Good luck - and as was said above: after you figure it out, you will love your Lang. (And you'll probably wonder how you ever had any problems with the smoke.)
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dog BBQ View Post
We will ship you some wood from Texas. Talk about dry! The stuff will self ignite if you take it out of the shade! lol Try building a base of kingsford or some lump. Get it good and hot then add some smaller chunks of the oak.
I like a base of Royal Oak 'Lump' then add small very dry wood then larger wood.
I too would experiment with bundled dry wood.
I don't know how high your average humidity is, but it's a factor here in Alabama.

I like a base of 'Lump' charcoal to start my wood fires...
It burns hotter and cleaner, and gets your wood burning with less smoke.

Last edited by Ole Man Dan; 12-13-2011 at 10:05 AM.. Reason: format
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:40 AM   #13
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there are some great posts and info in this thread, a handful of Lang users also.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=121563

I had trouble with wood that wasn't seasoned well enough earlier in the summer. My stack of oak is coming around now though. It helped me out to split it down to the size I want, pretty small splits around 2" to 3" and then put it in my garage for a few weeks before using it. My pit has a removable ash pan that sits down about four inches below the grate. My air intake is also below the grate level. Meadowcreek makes 'em right!
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:18 PM   #14
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Thanks guys! I did start with a chimney of charcoal, once ready i poured it out and put 4 decent size splits on top, log cabin style. Had this burning well over an hour (all open) and couldnt get the pit up past 175 and still smoking white, so Im pretty sure the woods junk. I like the idea of getting some store bought wood (which should be ideal and seasoned), so I have a comparison.

Next question is I noticed some surface rust on the cooking grates, whats common procedure for removing this? I dont want any rust cooking into my food.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrok2118 View Post
Thanks guys! I did start with a chimney of charcoal, once ready i poured it out and put 4 decent size splits on top, log cabin style. Had this burning well over an hour (all open) and couldnt get the pit up past 175 and still smoking white, so Im pretty sure the woods junk. I like the idea of getting some store bought wood (which should be ideal and seasoned), so I have a comparison.

Next question is I noticed some surface rust on the cooking grates, whats common procedure for removing this? I dont want any rust cooking into my food.
Check out this month's issue of Smoke signals... have an article on a 'food safe' chemical rust remover, Evaporust.
http://www.smokesignalsmagazine.com/SSM/issue7/index

Available at most auto stores and Harbor Freight, too.
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Last edited by BBQ Bandit; 12-13-2011 at 03:57 PM.. Reason: link added
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